joseph abboud shoot day 1
0333 came in the blink of an eye today. I think the last time I saw last night was 1154pm, cant be sure but somehow that sticks out in my mind. I couldnt sleep for the anxious, nervous tension of what today was going to hold. Today, I had to do my first real deal photo shoot for someone other than Bustin Boards, Okoto Apparel, and Ogden Clothing(notice those vascular arms on the first tile? yup that’s me too ha!). Those types of gigs arent anything because we call all the shots and dictate the pace. This however was out of my control entirely and gave me some real deal butterflies. Not knowing what to expect was the worst part, well almost the worst part. Watching the train leave this morning was the worst part. That means I was automatically 30 minutes in the red for the timeline I had envisioned for this AM.
I woke up abruptly with the iphone alarm cleverly titled, “go take pretty pictures.” Shower to wake up, get dressed, grab the board and ride like the wind. The weather was absolutely amazing and there wasnt a person in sight. I like these times for cruising. HIt the Path and hear the final call for the 33rd train. Cant jump the turnstyle because of the bacon and I get to watch the train roll on without NYC’s newest model. Well, I cant do anything about it now so I sit down in the sweltering underground, throw on the newest Eminemjoint and bob my head. 30 minutes later the train shows up and I am feeling under the gun now. Time’s 0428 when Hoboken disappears and I have 32 minutes to get to Greenwich and Gansevoort in the Meat Packing District (hehe, I will never NOT giggle at that title. Im forever and a day going to be that kid that laughs at fart jokes and loves a good “that’s what she said.”). Off the train at quarter til and hoof it up the steps. Check the phone for directions and see that the streets are wide open, time to cruise the four lanes of 14th and get some sidewalk surfing in to start the day. Em in my ear and I am seriously flowing. Feeling the rhythm and rhyme, hitting those beats all while carving out my own piece of the concrete wave. 3 minutes later I arrive at my destination and I am still 10 minutes early. Hallelujah dear Jesus, thank you for allowing me to not miss my show time….wait, where’s the RV, where’s everyone else, what the hell? Fear fills my body and I frantically try to load up my emails to see if I missed the memo. Several stressfilled seconds later and I am relieved to find that I am in the right and can revel in the fact that I am one of the first to show, that includes the camera crew. As I look around the shoot location, I realize that this the is the same corner I met my mom last year for all you can drink mimosas with brunch. Needless to say I almost got hit by a bus after leaving this local that last time, but now Im here on a mission, a mission to look GOOD. Probably didnt succeed in that this morn with those bags I was carrying looking like some Marc Jacobs hobo bags under dem eyeballs from my “beauty rest” that ended up consisting of less than 4 hours.
The day started with meeting the cast and crew, photogs, vets, IAVA reps,JC Penney reps, Joseph Abboud reps, and some videographers. I think I remember everyone’s name, I have been practicing my fat ass off with this one, so hopefully I get them all right again tomorrow. Meet and greet complete (sheer poetry folks, Im like the Shell Silverstein of the internet era or at least the block surrounding my apartment) so its time for some breakfast. I dont know what I expected for food but it wasnt what we were given and this is absolutely not a bad thing. The menu consisted of fresh fruit, granola and yogurt, PB and Banana sandwiches the size of paper footballs, turkeybacon, real bacon, hard boiled eggs (which I stayed away from for everyone’s safety) and little egg burritos. Unreal. I wouldve been happy with some coffee and a bagel, oh yeah there were bagels, jam, and cream cheese there too.
The sun broke through the buildings and this was the fifth time in a week and a half that I have been privy to this. Maybe I have a problem, OR maybe you do for not taking the time to enjoy one of the roughly 28,000 sunrises a person is given in a lifetime! The other guys get to shoot first with some snazzy suits and dressy attire while I get to schmooze and see how this whole process goes down. Chat up everyone I can and learn as much as possible all while keeping it as light as possible. In case you dont know me and in case you havent noticed, this is my defense mechanism, jokes. Without a laughing in the air, I am dying a slow death inside. Yes, maybe I cross the line sometimes, but I like to push the envelope. That’s me, get used to it. Im sure I came off the top rope with a couple today, but we were all having a blast so I threw the real me out there. Who else am I supposed to be?I got a fresh hair enhancement and trim, then its time to jump into my duds for the first shoot. Finally its my turn to get into character and the crew decided that I was suited for “casual argyle hipster glasses sometimes with a newsboy hat on guy.” I was a little nervous at first because this is WAY out of my realm of style, but even I have to admit that it actually looked pretty good. I guess that’s what happens when you get to dress in truly nice attire AND when the people dressing you know what they are doing (Im hiring a stylist tomorrow). We then shot the “quad”, that’s model talk for four of us in one shot. (Yeah I learned a lot of lingo today so I will add a model dictionary at the bottom of this post just so you nonmodels can comprehend what our industry is like. I am totally messing, please dont think me arrogant, I am joking. refer back to my defense mechanisms mentioned previously) We got to strut our stuff in some dapper threads, joke around with one another, and just play like this was normal life for us…all with cameras whirling and people starring at us from everywhere. Talk about sweat. The heat of the sun and the pressure of those bright lights of stardom all came crashing down on me. At one point I was telelported to the future where I was giving my first Oscar speech. Thank God I snapped out of it or who knows what would have went down.
We finished up my part and the rest of the guys moved into their pieces of the day. I moved on to the first part of my interview and once again thanked God that I had done this before. I am so happy to have experience in front of the camera, even if its for our silly little skate videos because this totally felt like every other time that I had been questioned with cameras on me. After that, Its a lot of sitting around, but its great for talking to all those involved and seeing the scope of industry that goes into something of this caliber. I am quite surprised and so grateful to be able to see this from the inside. After an hour or so, it was back into “Brooklyn’s favorite socialite and scholar” character for our entire group shot. All six of us lined up, blasted out some “Blue Steel” and walked forwards and backwards 10 feet. Not too distant from our days in the military. We actually had someone call cadencewhile we pushed forward at one point. Oh if only our Officers and Sergeants could have seen us today, how proud they would have been. We even got to pull an Anchorman-esk jump from the scene wear they go off to buy suits to cheer themselves up but instead end up in that crazy fight scene. (watch Anchorman because there will forever and a day be references tied into this blog. Do yourself a favor already)
Undress, throw some high fives to my sweater buddy and we are treated to an incredible lunch spread to complete the day of shooting. Lunch menu looks something like this:
-Grilled mahi mahi garnished with lemon
-Taziki with capers, olives, and tomatoes
-Goat cheese and zuccinni fritters
-Tiny filo doughed spinach and cheese “something-amazing” triangles
-Charred corn on the cob
-Medium rare steak cuts served over wilted spinach and roasted grape tomatoes
-Brownies and Baklava
Who gets to eat like this? I do for two days I guess, but explain to me how models dont get fat again?
This is such a cool experience that I can’t even put it all into words. I’m so sincerely thankful for this opportunity and hope that this gig is not my last. My mom has always said I should be a model, but isnt that what all moms are supposed to think? Isnt that kind of like someone showing you their baby for the first time? The loving parents, probably some of your best friends for years, unwrap that little cretan and you try not to wince/cringe all while stuttering over compliment after compliment about “oh your baby is gorgeous! No you cant even tell that her nose is mashed in from faceplanting on your wife’s pelvis for 9 months. Look at that rich head of red hair! You are truly and utterly blessed to have brought a child such as this into the world. May Jesus always watch over your daughter especially when she’s on stage in Cancun for spring break 2025 with no sunblock on and her shirt in the crowd. She’s so precious (insert mandatory cheek pinch and tug)”
Besides mom telling me I was model material, Ive also been told I have a face perfect for radio so I guess it all kind of balances out, right?
Tomorrow at 0800 for Joseph Abboud shoot day 2. I cant wait to get back out there. This is SOO insanely crazy, someone pinch me.